Friday, August 28, 2020

parlous times

The dolloping, blopping humidity was in reverse gear this morning -- air light and thin and delightful. Now, by afternoon, the humidity returns.

Last night, Donald Trump took on the mantle of the Republican candidate for rebranding as president of the United States, breaking a Hatch Act law that says politics shall not be played out on public (White House) spaces. Fire works went off. Political commentators looked exhausted tying to keep up with Trump's prevarications and immoralities.

In the South, Hurricane Laura lashed the coasts and inland waterways of Louisiana with wind gusts up to 175 mph last night and today while in the West, forest fires raged and crackled. All of this snuggled down in a backdrop of Corona-19 epidemic that has claimed 180K+- American lives.

In my town, a place of pinch-pottery and other bling, shops and stores dribble into oblivion. Those with expensive rental space on Main Street ... well ... my sympathies are muted. The nearby University of Massachusetts at Amherst announces furloughs. Colleges everywhere are losing traction (read, "money"). 

On the sports front, at least once professional basketball team -- the Milwaukee Bucks (whose faces are largely brown and black) -- declined to take part in a playoff game in the wake of an as-yet-not-detailed shooting of a black man in Kenosha, Wisc. ... seven police-officer shots in the back at point-blank range while the black man's (Jacob Blake) three children sat in a car into which he was leaning. There has been violence as anyone might imagine ... seven (or more) shots in the back upcloseandpersonal and JEEEEE-SUS!

When I awoke this morning, I thought, now that Trump is finally a candidate and currently shows waning strength, it is time to know where the guns are. Even among cowardly Republicans, it is a little early for Trump's Mossolini fascism, but I hoped my younger son knew where his pistols were. (Turns out he has a small-bore shotgun as well.) The last time the well-to-do fended off the great unawashed -- and those with the tax breaks circled the wagons -- the cops and the military had most of the weapons. (Picture comes from England, but the substance is pretty much the same.)

Law and order, but whose law and whose order?


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Democrats, heat, time passes

The humidity of the last week and a half has relented a bit. Kamala Harris has been selected as the Democrat running mate of Joe Biden who is running for president of the United States. Harris, 55, a former prosecutor from California, is, in my eyes, a "pistol-packin' mama!" ... this is a woman with a bright smile and sharp teeth if I don't miss my guess.

Kamala Harris: Who She Is and What She Stands For - The New York Times
Joe, my neighbor across the street, thinks Harris, the first brown woman to be selected for top office in the country, is likely to become the stalking horse for Biden, who is 77, and has not ruled out a one-term presidency (it's a bit early in the game, I concede). Harris has a Haitian and Indian parentage ... which should piss Trump, a man who plays to racist tropes, off ... can't be all bad if she can manage that.

Why someone has not openly suggested (that I know of) that Donald Trump is a "clear and present danger" to the United States of America leaves me confused. His lies are legion; his foundering almost-but-not-really funny; and when asked if he were ever inclined to apologize for the lies of the past simply ignored the reporter's question...

In Russia, another opposition leader has been hospitalized with what is suspected as poisoning ... the sort of thing Vladimir Putin, former head of Russia's secret police, was and remains familiar with... uh.... polonium.

Could we not give Trump a set of diamond-studded knitting needles -- appropriately-dippped -- and send him into retirement ...  to practice his knitting?

There are wildfires in what I take to be a roasting-toasting West (130F +- recorded in Death Valley yesterday)...

The TV drones out endless similarities over and over again ... the virus, the election, the institutionalized ignorance, the ratings....

My younger son received a last-minute cut from his admission to the police academy training he was hoping to take. The town of Amherst foots and bill and was unwilling to do so for the officers lined up to police the University of Massachusetts .... which is financially akimbo because it lacks students and income and ... my son was one of the low men on the totem pole. Ouch for him.

My older son has a potential job offer in Ga. It's satisfying to be wanted in unwonted times. His main squeeze and live-with may or may not have the Covid-19 ... sore throat lately. Any my daughter, who has been connecting from home ... continues to do so.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

anti-Trump protest song

Received in email:

haircut and Joe Biden

 A spate of hot, humid days (90+ F) passes sluggishly into the past. Today. my son cut my hair with the clippers and I showered.

In my time, what was once the swelling of a breast displayed discretely in a little decolletage has evolved on TV movies into everything but male genitalia. Naked women, though not common, are now on display here and there. Cuss words are all in order in those same movies -- including the dreaded "fuck," though not, in these days of "black lives matter" sensitivity, the word "nigger."

The Democrat candidate for president, Joe Biden, today chose Kamala Harris, a brown woman from California, to be his running mate. All of the women who were on Biden's list of possible mates were strong people and bound to piss off the incumbent president of the United States, Donald Trump. How nice it is to have Harris, 55, backstopping Biden, 77. The vice-presidential slot is reserved, someone once observed, for a warm bucket of spit ... but it's toasty. She seems like a sharp pencil.

Friday, August 7, 2020

nudist outwits nimble boar

You swine! German nudist chases wild boar that stole laptop (


Thursday, August 6, 2020

playing at "god"

As a lover of stories, one of the twinklings that drew me forward in the matter of spiritual adventure was the matter of cause and effect. It was verifiable without reference to spiritual maunderings and hence more credible than other approaches from where I sat:

No matter how far into the future anyone reached, still there was no reaching "the end;" no matter how far back anyone reached, there was no reaching "the beginning."  Beginnings and endings were fabricated. There was only one story ever, but stories beckoned nonetheless under the hand of the author, the god. No beginnings, no endings and yet something within delighted in beginnings and endings. The criminal got caught; the lovers kissed; the sun set or the sun rose. The mind simply could not compass a place of no beginning or no end, so beginnings and endings were cobbled together under some whimsical whim.

Every cause was an effect. Every effect was a cause. Forth and back. Back and forth -- into the maw of not-exactly-emptiness-yet-not-exactly-not-either.

What was before that and before that and before that...?

What was after that and after that and after that...?

I was not interested in positing "god" by positing god.

Stories were not "stories," they were "story," but that was too amorphous, too huge so ... catch the criminal, kiss the girl/boy.

And what was before that?

And what was after that?

Leave things alone.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

bits and pieces

Bits and pieces:

-- My diet of late consists largely of cottage cheese, liverwurst, orange juice, Ritz crackers, occasional sweet rolls ... and a few other dribs and drabs of utterly unbalanced ingestions. Last night I had some decent beef. Gobbled it up. And the night before some summer squash/zucchini. A square meal need not be dog food and left-overs.

-- I wear old-fart clothes -- sweat pants, T-shirt, and zip-up cardigan. Since I don't break a sweat, I shower once or twice a week. I seldom go outside.

-- I watch the feeding-frenzy (epidemic) news for as long as I can stand it, but eventually succumb to any old romance-comedy cum canned laughter.

-- I rely on an oxygen pump between fixes of black coffee and cigarettes.

-- I nap.

-- I may be wrong, but I think the word "hero" is blessedly being reduced. \

-- I am sick of newscasters giving me their opinions.

-- And do I look to Zen training for support? Not that I know of.

-- I didn't say any of it would make sense. Just trying to give some sense of one person's pastimes in time of epidemic.

-- I have lain, belly-flat to the earth in the woods, and drunk water that pooled as it sipped from the mountain's edge. A still, slow movement of almost pure black and cool and perhaps tainted by squirrel pestilence or some other, but anyway wet and so smooth as it touched my tongue. I cannot remember if, from that position, the water ran out my nose as it sometimes did for the horses when I would water them. Could I possibly want more than that wondrous touch ... sipping, sipping sipping? Shouldn't everyone be so blessed by such a perfection?

Saturday, August 1, 2020

old is the mode

A Taiwanese octogenarian couple who run a small-town laundry service have become an online fashion sensation by modelling abandoned clothes on Instagram....
The couple hope to use their new social media clout to promote the concept of “environmental fashion”.
“Instead of following fast fashion and keep buying new clothes, we hope people can see that old and second-hand clothes can be fashionable if you arrange and combine them in new ways,” said Reef. “This would cause less damage to the earth and the environment.”

half-assed bias

Even before the worldwide flu epidemic sank its public-relations talons into China in December 2019, a half-assed bias was circulating in my mind. Not serious, mind you, but still nudging: I really did not want to communicate with people who grew and hid behind au courant beards and likewise I vowed in a whisper not communicate with people sporting and failing to doff aviator glasses (often with mirror lenses). I was sick of not seeing the honest face of whomever I was talking with.

And then along came the virus and the preventive masks.

Masks on top of masks.


How was I supposed to be in an honest conversation with someone hiding in this way. Where was the bear-bottom person I blithely assumed I might be talking to?

Now, seven months into the "pandemic," many, if not most, are wearing masks. Since there is little or no contact anyway, the bias failed to get lift-off. Everyone's hidden. And if everyone is hidden, is anyone really any longer "hidden?"

I still don't like it, either as fashion statement or health-provider. Beards.

Where you at????

Yes, yes -- I know: Beards are fashionable as well as being health-reminders. In fashion....

I still don't trust you, whether or not you play sports.

As I say -- not serious. Just nudging ... like my old stand-by's about people with blue eyes or blond hair ... weak.

What a lot of tripe my mind confects.

PS. A spate of hot weather lately ... 80's into the 90's F. And humid in large measure. Hurricanes are brewing between Africa and the Caribbean and the plain old flu season lurks. Thank goodness the air conditioning hasn't yet gone down. Poverty creeps and nips up the economic ladder. Jobs are lost. Financial safety nets are withdrawn.

Keep your eyes on the prize ... George Bush and then Donald Trump accomplished the one thing the wealthy wanted -- a reduction in taxes. Everything else is eyewash.